The idea of these may be enough to initially turn your stomach, but believe me ... it really REALLY works !
Maple syrup and bacon have been paired together for a very long time in good old US of A, but it's something that has never really become a big thing in Western Europe.
If you have a surf through the web, you will also find that maple and bacon cakes, doughnuts and even popcorn are all in trend at the moment.
I had the idea of combining chocolate, maple and bacon in macarons some time ago, yet didn't have the heart to commit to making a whole batch of macarons to find out nobody liked them...
Well, my storeman; Colin, wanted to make some macarons for his parents Golden Wedding Anniversary. Colin came in one night and had a masterclass in macarons. We made a batch of chocolate and coconut macarons (airbrushed gold) and some blueberry and lemon.
I pinched a tray of chocolate shells and filled them with white chocolate ganache with some maple syrup and candied maple bacon. Top with another piece of crispy maple bacon, and be transported to heaven !
180g icing sugar
40g cocoa powder
180g ground almonds
180g egg whites (split into 2 batches)
1 tablespoon Camp Coffee
200g caster sugar
Finely grind the almonds and icing sugar together until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers. Sift into a large bowl. Add one batch of egg whites, and the cocoa powder. Stir to combine into a thick paste.
Put the caster sugar and water into a pan and boil until the syrup reaches 110deg C.
At this point, whip remaining egg whites to firm peak.
Remove sugar syrup from heat when it reaches 118 > 120deg C. Pour this in a slow stream onto the egg whites whilst whisking constantly. You will need a hand or stand mixer for this. I prefer to use my hand mixer when making macarons. Whisk until thick and shiny and fairly cool.
Fold into the paste with a spatula until a ribbon of mixture fades into the surface within about 30 seconds.
Pipe on to on of our revolutionary double sided silicone macaron mats. We now also have these mats in bright red and they should be on the website next week.
You want to leave about 5mm space around the macaronage on the mat as you pipe. Once it's sat and relaxed for a few minutes, it will spread.
Put in a preheated fan oven at 160deg C for 5 mins with the door open, then close the door and bake for another 18 > 20 minutes until done.
I made the shells for my blueberry and lemon macaron shells into a crazy tie-dye effect.
Colin's were simply bright yellow - but the impressive thing was the fact he managed to make 75 PERFECT macaron shells despite having never before attempted any form of baking.
Way to go Colin - they're awesome !
Mastering Macaron classes will be available to book in our cookery school here in Attleborough, Norfolk from December 2013
Colin was a little shaky using a piping bag, but really got the hang of it. I managed to snap him filling his shells :-)
Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com and www.sarah-janeskitchen.co.uk